Needless to say how much the internet has changed the world.
And pigeon sport as well.
Life without the web is unthinkable today but it also has its disadvantages.
Again also in pigeon sport.
Some pigeon sites are designed to only make money. There is nothing against auctioning pigeons and there is nothing against pushing birds, provided the right information is given. Like it is now, especially foreigners are often misled.
Just think about whom those auction sites make propaganda. Those are only the fanciers from whom they can make money of course.
30 Percent commission is for the men in charge of the site which may be a lot of money. Thus it happens that pigeon sport seems the only sport in which lies are presented and sold as the truth.
You only need to talk to foreigners and you will know what I mean. The only names that they know are names that they saw on the internet.
They do not realise that those people often paid to get their names published.
Or that the names are on the web for just one reason: They will auction birds soon.
Today especially Chinese pay good money for pigeons, in fact far too much.
And that is the reason why some sold "all their birds" twice in just some years time.
All those birds are presented as good birds, or even more super birds but...
Everybody in Holland and Belgium knows that far more than 90% of the birds that even the greatest champions will breed are no good.
Still in several more than 1.000 euros are paid for the cheapest birds. Crazy.
Ask every serious and honest champion how many real good birds he will breed in every 100 and I garantee, nobody daresay 10.
Why do they breed so many babies? Because they know they have to to have a chance to get some good ones.
Some 150 young birds per year is about the minimum most champions will breed. That means 600 babies in 4 years" time.
It they would breed 6 real good birds per year that would mean 24 real good birds in 4 years. Or 576 bad birds, for which also much money is paid in those auctions.
Who has 24 real good birds?
No one in the whole world, apart from some millionaires that are collectors.
I even wonder who has TEN good birds, regardless the amount of babies that are bred every year.
And still visitors of the site are made to believe that all birds that are for sale are good.
What often happens is this.
A champion feels that the quality of his family is getting down, so what does he do?
He sells the greater part and he keeps best.
From the money that he gets for the rubbish that he sold he tries to buy good birds.
Foreigners pretty often ask me questions such as the following.
"Champion Mr X auctioned nearly all his birds because of poor health or old age, but now I see he is bidding on some body elses birds. How is such a thing possible?"
Now they have an answer to this question.
It is surprising indeed how good for health an auction maybe.
After the auction the painful knees and worn out backs are ok and the pigeon lung is gone. Or, remember Thone, the champions eyes are perfect again.
I often say that one should know the strength of the competition before you buy.
"Tell me against whom you race and I will tell you how good your birds are."
In Holland there is this area that is known for its poor birds. Every weekend the races last much longer than elsewhere.
The last weekend of april 2013 we had fair races. Bright weather and headwinds were races for the good birds.
In most areas the race was finished in about 13 to 15 minutes. This means that in 15 minutes one quarter of the birds were home.
But in the area I am referring to it took half an hour before the race was finished.
Coincidentally (?) some world famous names live in that area.
And it stands to reason that it is much easier to achieve good results when fanciers live in such an area where they race against poor birds.
My mother is 92. If I would pay tennis against her and my aunts I would be the champion for sure.
But this will be different if I would play against my son and his friends.
People like winners.
But a winner is not good enough for me. I want to know where this 1st prize was won.
Like I said in the last weekend of april pigeons that arrived 15 minutes after the first bird did not win a prize. After 15 minutes one quarter of the birds were home and the races were finished, apart from that one area.
A fancier who races there, lets call him Mr X, won the prizes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
It looks impressing but this result was no more than a joke. It took him 17 minutes to clock these 12 birds. So in 17 minutes no other fancier in his club got a bird, while in other areas the races were finished after 12 minutes.
But Mr X can show off with a sensational result, since winning 1 to 12 is sensational. A man who lives close to him, lets call him Mr Y, participated in the same race but in another club.
The first bird of Mr Y was 4 minutes ahead of the first bird of Mr X. But that bird of Mr Y only won prize 17 in his club.
AGAIN THE INTERNET
I showed some foreign visitors how to look up results on the internet. And I advised them to consider the entry. If a fancier entered 5 birds or 150 makes a great difference. They asked me where to find some famous names that they knew. I showed them and they were surprised to see how poor their results were.
And they were also shocked when they saw how good many completely unknown fanciers were, who in most cases, raced few birds.
Winning 50 prizes looks impressive.
Winning 5 prizes does not.
But if the first fancier entered 150 birds his result was poor.
If the second fancier entered 5 birds he was super!